May 2010 Archives

G.O.P. Senate Candidate Acknowledges Misstatement - NYTimes.com

To quote me from another entry, with slight modifications:

I don’t get it. “I misspoke.” “I made a mistake.” But no “I lied.” Or “I would have crushed a witness who perjured himself like I did if I had been on the stand.”

C’mon, Mark: Try it. I lied. Betcha’ can’t do it. And I bet the media won’t let you get away with it, too.

and this:

A friend of mine from high school had this to say:

“Yep, I say lies too. We never would have stood for this kind of crap when I served in Grenada. ‘During’ Grenada, I mean. ‘Burgers during’ Grenada, I mean.

“What a maroon. Partisanship doesn’t trump dishonesty; if we Dems feel like we need to count on the vote of a liar to win, we deserve to lose.”

I have to agree completely, and not from the partisan perspective: if anybody feels like they have to count on the vote of a liar to win, they certainly deserve to lose.

Well said.

Again.

My dad corresponds often with a friend from his high school days who is now a border rancher in Arizona. Bud, as he is known, has this to say about things in his part of the country, and forwarded on an article from the Tucson Weekly. It’s worth the read. Take your time, digest it all.

(Another good article can be found here.)

Dear Folks,

It was a few years ago that Leo Banks, Wall Street Journal, wrote a very accurate piece about his interview with me regarding the border situation on the ranch. I have forgiven him, in that he referred to me as a former Marine General. [He’s a retired Army General. /B] The article was accurate and without the fluff that is rampant in some of the pieces that have been written about our situation. The persons named in the below article are or were in Rob Krentz case all friends and neighbors of mine. Dr Gary Thrasher is my veterinarian, John Ladd and I are both on the U S Border Patrol advisory committee, and Larry Dever is a close friend and our Sheriff. This piece HITS THE MARK!!!! The BP is held back from making an aggressive positioning close to the border. All the ranchers who have livestock along the border are carrying weapons of some sort just to guard our investment. Until our leaders realize the severity of this condition and get off their rear ends and make constructive movement to defuse this situation…….it is just a matter of time before another incident raises its head. I am sending this to those who have expressed an interest other than the fluff you are seeing in the press.

Bud

The Krentz Bonfire

by Leo Banks, Tucson Weekly, April 29, 2010, article source here

A little more than a month has passed since the death of Cochise County rancher Rob Krentz, and the emotion generated by his murder, the pure shock of it, has ignited a bonfire that still burns across Arizona’s borderlands—and all the way to Washington, D.C.

Now everyone is demanding troops. Now, with Gov. Jan Brewer’s signature on a tough new illegal-immigration law, the nation is embroiled in a loud debate about racial profiling. Now everyone has a multi-point plan for bringing some control to a border so porous that anyone who wants to get into the country can eventually do so, as Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever last week told the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Will anything change now?

When the bonfire cools, will we be able to look back and say, as the heartbroken Krentz family hopes, that Rob’s death wasn’t in vain?

Last week, Rob’s brother, Phil, described how surprised and heartened the family has been at the outpouring of support they’ve received from around the country.

“It has really woken people up to what’s going on,” he says. “But I don’t know if anything will be done about it. It’s too early to tell. Meantime, we’re coping any way we can.”

Rob’s sister, Susan Pope, says, “This has really taken legs, and I think some things will change for the better. But I don’t think it’ll ever get to where we feel secure.”

The Popes’ home in the Chiricahua Mountains has been broken into three times. Susan works as a bus driver and teacher at the one-room Apache Elementary School, which has been hit so often that nothing of value remains inside.

“When was the last time you felt secure?” I asked.

Susan let out a joyless laugh and said, “I can’t remember, honestly.”

What has to be noted first is the inevitability of what happened. Something like the Krentz murder was coming, and everyone knew it.

Life in the Chiricahua Corridor north and east of Douglas, as the Tucson Weekly has been reporting for two years, has become a nightmare of break-ins, threats, intimidation and home invasions.

The stories residents told this newspaper, the frustration they feel trying to keep property and family safe in smuggler-occupied territory, were like a freight train in the night. Down the tracks, you see a faint light, coming closer and closer.

On March 27, in Cochise County’s big country a mile west of Paramore Crater, the train arrived.

The aftershock has been so powerful, because the killing exploded the lie about a secure border that Washington, D.C., has been working hard to promote.

In the days and weeks before Krentz’s murder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, on TV and in speeches, had been telling the American people that conditions on the border had improved enough to proceed with amnesty.

“The security of the Southwest border has been transformed from where we were in 2007,” she said. It was a sales job meant to push a political goal.

This is the same homeland security secretary who, in April 2009, told CNN it’s not a crime, per se, to cross the border.

How committed can our government be to securing the border when the person charged with doing so—a former governor of Arizona, no less—doesn’t know it’s a federal misdemeanor to enter without inspection?

Now, back up a moment.

Yes, arrests are down across the Border Patrol’s 262-mile-wide Tucson sector—from 378,239 in 2007, to 241,673 last year.

Welcome news. But understand that the people who got away outnumber arrests by about 3 to 1.

Yes, the feds have built fencing along the Southwest border, boasting that 628 miles are now in place.

But as Glenn Spencer of American Border Patrol notes, only 310 miles of that is people fence, and some of that is next to useless. The remainder—318 miles—consists of vehicle barriers that don’t deter anybody on foot.

I’ve written before of the Tortilla Curtain, an invisible barrier that filters the facts about the border through various lenses—race, culture, civil rights, politics—so that by the time the information gets to the power centers in Washington and New York, it looks nothing like the truth.

The Tortilla Curtain’s stoutest pillar is our own government, and no, it wasn’t much different under George W. Bush.

But now, even big-media conservatives like Michael Barone and Charles Krauthammer, lost behind the Curtain, are trotting out arrest numbers and fence numbers, dutifully falling in line behind Napolitano.

These guys need to come to Arizona and get their suits dirty on the trails.

Around Nogales, where arrests are down 20 percent, Susie Morales—who lives 2 1/2 miles from the line in the national forest west of Interstate 19—has seen no letup in crossings.

As she cooks dinner in her kitchen, she can look out and see mules backpacking drugs on a trail 75 yards from her front door. Another trail runs 50 yards behind her house.

These trails are so close that when Susie spots incursions, she runs into her bathroom with her cell phone and shuts the door. She has to keep her voice down so the crossers can’t hear her calling for help.

“There are more Border Patrol agents around, but the tide hasn’t abated,” says Morales. “It’s amazing. They’re still coming. We need active-duty military here, because we’re just outnumbered.”

She carries a .357 magnum everywhere she goes.

Foot traffic still pours over the Huachuca Mountains, south of Sierra Vista, to the tune of 1,500 a week, according to a citizen who places game cameras on trails there and counts crossings.

East of the Huachucas, John Ladd tells me that in the 18 days prior to April 10, he counted some 350 illegals on his San Jose Ranch. Every one had climbed the fence.

Ladd’s property near Naco has been fenced since 2007, with the barriers ranging from 10 to 13 feet. But fencing just west of Ladd’s, across the San Pedro River, stands 18 feet tall, so why would anyone bother with an 18-footer when you can walk east and climb a 10-footer?

“I’m on the phone to Border Patrol on average three times a day, seven days a week, to report groups,” Ladd says. “I don’t know what normal is anymore. I’ve become cynical, untrusting and pissed off.”

East of Ladd’s at Douglas, drug-laden ultra-light aircraft fly up from Mexico—right over Border Patrol headquarters, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters, every night of the week.

Arrests in Douglas are up 25 percent this year, and the danger has never been greater.

As one resident told me, “We’re under the gun all the time. There are people watching us all the time. The smugglers have scouts on hills, watching us, watching customs, watching Border Patrol. They’re terrorists, very militaristic, and they get a high out of it. As long as they can get away with it, it’s OK. That’s their mentality.”

Do you think DHS changed its song after Krentz’s death?

On April 4, The New York Times quoted DHS spokesman Matthew Chandler saying the agency “will continue to ensure that we are doing everything necessary to keep communities along the Southwest border safe.”

Continue to ensure? If our border communities were safe, Krentz would be alive. Continue to ensure. Imagine having the cojones to say that after Krentz’s murder?

They spun before Krentz’s murder, and they’re spinning now. And word out of Washington is that President Obama plans to push ahead soon with comprehensive immigration reform.

The sense of abandonment in the Corridor is palpable, and no one expressed it better than Roland Snure, a doctor who grew up in the area and knew Krentz well.

“I cannot understand how a government that takes, and takes, and takes, could not provide the only thing it has to do—protect its citizens,” he said.

If you want to talk transformation, life in Southeast Arizona has been transformed over the past month. But not in the way Napolitano claims.

Now, when men go out to work at their corrals, sometimes miles from the house, wives follow along, afraid to be home alone.

Up in Rodeo, N.M., Tess Shultis no longer allows her two boys to play outside the house.

“Not unless me or their dad is with them,” says Shultis, a clerk at the market in Rodeo. “It’s too dangerous.”

Transformed.

The most dangerous thing you can do on the border now? Reach for your cell phone. Forget you even own one. Keep your hands visible. No sudden moves.

If you encounter the wrong guy, and he thinks you’re calling Border Patrol, he might start shooting. That’s likely what happened to Krentz.

It’s supposition, but his killer probably has a criminal record, and rather than get arrested for it, he opened fire. For good measure, he shot Rob’s cow dog, too, breaking its back. The animal had to be put down later.

The killer’s tracks led to Mexico along Black Draw, a heavily used smuggler trail through the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge. The shooter is still at large.

The Cochise County sheriff has released a photo of a person wanted for questioning in robberies around Portal, in the Chiricahua Mountains. Some suspect a connection to the Krentz murder.

The man, Alejandro Chavez-Vasquez, was arrested in Southern Arizona’s Santa Cruz County in early May 2004; the following month, he was charged with felony re-entry after deportation, according to federal court records. To earn that charge, he’d likely been caught crossing the border multiple times. In a plea agreement, he got 36 months of supervised release and a fine of $100.

Cochise County sheriff’s spokesperson Carol Capas says Chavez-Vasquez also has convictions in this country for theft, sexual assault, motor-vehicle theft and narcotics possession, and has used multiple birthdates in dealing with police. Capas said some of his crimes occurred in Nevada, but she could not name other states in which he might’ve been active.

Krentz’s killer, whoever it is, might’ve been jacked up on something. Many smugglers take meth or some form of speed to keep moving.

Anna Magoffin, who lives along Geronimo Trail, finds needles and discarded steroid vials on her horseback rides across the borderlands. “These guys aren’t just walking,” she says. “They’re bumped up on something.”

Not surprisingly, sympathy for illegal crossers has cratered.

“I’ve detected a hardening of hearts,” says Lynn Kartchner, who co-owns a gun shop in Douglas. “People who used to give them water and a sandwich and let them sleep in the shade, now they’re going to run them off at gunpoint.”

In the days since the murder, Kartchner’s business has boomed. Some of his new customers are bird-watching lefties from Portal who’ve suddenly become sudden Second Amendment converts, now that grim reality has hit them, too.

And what of our government’s talk of comprehensive immigration reform? Of amnesty? It has made the crisis worse.

The words have been all over Mexican TV and radio, and the result is a rush to the border, same as it ever was, says Magoffin.

During the Bush years, she could look south from her house to a highway in Mexico and see big white buses unloading people. They’d line up single file and march into the country.

“It was like a long snake of people walking through the desert,” Magoffin says. “The amnesty talk today has the big loads going through again.”

Transformed.

But the polite border-crossing worker—some are still out there—has given way to the bad hombre. In the Tucson sector, 17 percent of those arrested by the Border Patrol have criminal records in the United States.

The most alarming reality is the takeover of people-smuggling operations by the drug cartels. Now, a group of 15 from, say, Chiapas, Mexico, with jobs lined up in Chicago, can’t get into the country without dealing with the drug operations that own the trails.

To cross around Douglas, the going rate is up to $2,500 per person. When the Chiapas guys say they don’t have it, the coyote hands them his drugs and says, “Carry this, and you can come in for free, and we’ll guide you”—and up they come.

The coyote is accompanied by another fellow, also armed, who serves as muscle to make sure the workers turned mules don’t drop the product and bolt.

If Border Patrol happens to jump the group, a few of the workers might get rounded up while the coyote and his muscle disappear into the mountains, armed and dangerous—and good luck finding them.

They know the trails like their own faces in the mirror, because they make those runs over and over again.

When I visited Ladd recently, he uttered a chilling remark that Dever echoed in his testimony in Washington last week: “I guarantee that every group coming across that border today has a gun behind it.”

We can have a discussion about open labor markets, about legalizing drugs, about our insatiable demand for drugs, about the skill of the cartels at getting their junk into the country and how that creates more demand than there otherwise would be.

But that’s for another time. The immediate issue: How do we protect American citizens from this imminent danger?

The worst thought of all is that maybe the federal government is incapable of doing it. Maybe the bureaucracy is too big to do much of … anything.

The communications issue inspires zero confidence.

Susan Pope’s husband, Louie, has worked closely with the Border Patrol, even volunteering to show young agents how to work the terrain and the trails. He likes some of what he sees.

“They’re good kids, and they damn sure want to work,” says Pope.

But he has also watched the agency regularly put two men on a trail to track a group of 20, without maps, night-vision equipment or radios.

Veterinarian Gary Thrasher tells of being flagged down on an isolated ranch road at night by an agent left there to track a group alone—again, with no radio.

If he needed backup, the agent was told to use his personal cell phone. But the battery had gone dead, and he asked to borrow Thrasher’s cell.

For years, at every meeting with the Border Patrol, residents of the Chiricahua Corridor have pleaded with Border Patrol to fix its communication problems.

The corridor runs along a seam between the agency’s Douglas and Lordsburg sectors, and the two sectors have been unable to communicate with each other.

Border Patrol agents stationed at forward operating bases out on Geronimo Trail, east of Douglas, can’t radio back to headquarters in town.

Residents along Geronimo Trail can’t call the forward operating base. Rancher Bill McDonald says if trouble brews at his place, he has to drive to the base, 5 miles away on dirt roads.

After Krentz was shot, Border Patrol agents and sheriff’s deputies worked the area looking for clues, but they couldn’t communicate with each other.

Close observers say Krentz’s killer was likely back in Mexico well before Rob’s body was located, so bad communications probably didn’t play a role in his escape.

Within days of the murder, after Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords contacted DHS about the sorry state of communications in the corridor, satellite GPS radios arrived.

But it took a death, and a congresswoman raising hell, to get the bureaucracy to finally move.

Another loud plea, widely heard, is that the Border Patrol needs to be on the border itself, not tracking people five miles north of the line, or 30 miles north.

Thrasher, who travels the borderlands daily in his work, has made this his signature issue, and his view reflects the cynicism some feel toward the Border Patrol. He says the fall-back strategy cedes American land to the gangs and puts citizens at risk.

“There is no interest among the higher-up in stopping this at the border,” says Thrasher. “Instead of being preventative, they’re reactionary, because then they can show all the wonderful things they’re doing. Look at how many arrests we made. Look at all the pot we caught.

“The border should be our line in the sand. That’s where we need to stop them before they get to any citizens.”

In fairness, Border Patrol has always said they don’t have enough manpower to form a blockade at the border, and backing up allows more time to make arrests. They make a similar argument with fencing, saying it pushes illegals out into remote areas and gives agents days rather than hours to make arrests.

But that bothers Thrasher, too. Stop them at the line, and nobody dies in the backcountry.

“We push them way out and give them a two-day head start, then run them down,” says Thrasher, who played football for Woody Hayes at Ohio State. “Rob’s murder was terrible, and the danger everybody faces is terrible. But all of us out here are sick of seeing the bodies (of illegals), too.”

The one that haunts him the most, oddly, was one he never saw. But a rancher in the Chiricahuas told Thrasher the story.

A woman had died up in the mesquite and had been there long enough for the coyotes to get to her. When searchers went out to bag the body parts, they found her head here, some guts over there, a scatter of limbs.

When the rancher picked up an arm, he noticed the Timex watch on the woman’s wrist still ticking.

The idea of ceding American ground to the cartels is the pulse point of this crisis, because fundamentally, this is a fight for land. It’s going on in this country and on ranches in northern Mexico, where a lot of good folks there have it even worse than we do.

Every trail on our border is either bought or won through blood. The profits are great, and no gang that controls valuable land is going to give it up willingly.

As John Ladd says, “Nobody has tried to stop them yet. But if we do, it’s going to be a battle.”

Do we have the political will to take it on now, after Krentz?

A telling sign will be the rules of engagement under which troops, should the president decide to send them, will operate. Giffords and Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl have called for the immediate deployment National Guard troops.

Will they be allowed to stand their ground if challenged? Will they have bullets in their guns?

Remember back in January 2007, when unidentified armed men approached a National Guard outpost on the border near Sasabe, southwest of Tucson, and the soldiers followed orders and fled?

All across that section of the border, you could hear residents wailing, “No! Protect us! Why are you here if not to protect us?!”

If that was a probe by the cartels to see if the gringos were finally serious, they got their answer.

We can’t do that again.

As Susan Pope says, “If we don’t stop it now, God help us, because He’s the only one who’ll be able to. It’ll send a message to the cartels, ‘Hey, it’s a free for all. Come on up.’”

Let’s take this crap apart, point by point, shall we?

From CNN.com

Editor’s note: Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a member of the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board, a nationally syndicated columnist and a regular contributor to CNN.com.

San Diego, California (CNN) — Don’t be surprised if, any day now, you read that the People’s Republic of Arizona is in the market for nuclear warheads to put an end, once and for all, to illegal immigration on its southern border. After all, it’s the next logical step for the rogue state.

Look in the dictionary under hyperbole and you’ll likely find this guy. Nuclear is the next logical step? Already, he’s proving himself a nutcase.

I should quit. This is going to be too easy.

This week, to advance the narrative that Arizona has no choice but to do its own immigration enforcement because the federal government is asleep at the switch, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer called for air support. Brewer requested helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles from the White House to patrol the border region with Mexico. In a letter to President Obama, Brewer asked that the National Guard reallocate reconnaissance helicopters and robotic surveillance craft to the “border states” to prevent illegal immigration. The governor also requested the deployment of unmanned drones, including possibly the Predator drones used in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, in her letter, Brewer even mentioned those foreign wars as examples of where the drones have been effective.

Good for Gov. Brewer. Nothing like calling the federal government out on what it says it should do.

What’s the matter with Arizona? Isn’t it a little early in the year for the folks in the desert to be suffering from sunstroke?

Rhetorical question: Nothing’s wrong with Arizona. And apparently it wasn’t too early to start drinking when you wrote this article.

I guess this is par for the course. Brewer just signed SB 1070, a disgraceful anti-immigration and pro-racial-profiling law, to give local and state cops throughout the state the chance to suit up and play border patrol agent. Why shouldn’t she get the chance to suit up and play general?

I object to the use of the terminology “racial profiling” in conjunction with SB 1070. If, for example, you saw this young woman at a basketball game, you would not assume she’s an illegal immigrant because she’s Hispanic. No, you’d think, “Hey, she looks like she belongs here. Not likely illegal.”

kobe_vanessa_byant_look_illegal.jpg

But if you saw her hanging out with these guys (who have been harassing schoolgirls in Hayward, California), you might think twice.

illegal-aliens-hayward-california.JPG

This isn’t racial profiling. This is situational profiling. Put these guys in ringside seats too and nobody’d give them a second glance.

After all, like the United States, Arizona is currently involved in two wars. There’s the hypocritical war against the very illegal immigrants that the state has spent the past 15 years providing with gainful employment by allowing them to do jobs that Arizonans wouldn’t do. And then there’s the rhetorical war with the Obama administration, which Arizona wants to portray as negligent in stopping illegal immigration, which forced Arizonans to take matters into their own hands.

“…that Arazonans wouldn’t do.” I’m trying to understand why he thinks Arizonans are so dead-set against working. Unemployment is currently 9.4% in Arizona. Think those 9.4% of people are above working in the jobs that the illegal immigrants are doing?

“…the rhetorical war with the Obama administration” is anything but rhetorical. Fact is, the Obama administration, along with the administrations before it, Republican and Democratic alike, have all been negligent in enforcing the laws they passed and are supposed to be enforcing.

The argument that the federal government isn’t actively engaged in border enforcement is both dishonest and reckless.

Cite a source here, Ruben. I’m unable to find anybody on record saying that the federal government isn’t actively engaged in border enforcement. Oh! Wait! There’s a site… no, that’s just your own drivel. Sorry for the false alarm.

Putting words into the mouths of Arizona officials (and others) is dishonest. I don’t know if it’s reckless or not.

It is dishonest because it’s not true. I’ve visited the U.S.-Mexico border a dozen times in the past 10 years: in Texas, Arizona and California. I’ve interviewed countless border patrol agents and supervisors. I’ve also been up in a Border Patrol helicopter flying above the border, which offers a unique perspective on border security.

Precisely! They’re doing something. But it’s not enough.

So I can tell you what the border patrol agents on the ground would tell you: The U.S.-Mexico border has never been more fortified. There are now more than 20,000 border patrol agents on the federal payroll. That’s more agents than any other federal enforcement agency, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Those agents apprehend people and deport them at a feverish clip. In fact, it was recently announced that the Obama administration deported more people last year than the Bush administration during its final year in office.

Again, not enough. And if somebody doesn’t do more, then it will get worse, hence Arizona’s need to take the matter into its own figurative hands.

It is reckless because—when this law is hauled before a federal judge, as it will be—opponents will argue that the measure violates the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution by usurping federal authority to enforce immigration law. And that’s the very thing that proponents seem to be admitting in their bravado. In fact, it might not be a bad idea for Arizona officials to pipe down and stop bragging about how they’re doing the job of the federal government in terms of immigration enforcement, since that’s a no-no under the Constitution.

Interesting: First, you’re going to use your crystal ball and tell us where this yet-to-be-filed case will end up. If you’re so good, get into the stock market and out of journalism. Second, the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution is N/A here. Now, I’m just as much an attorney as you are (that is to say, we’re not attorneys), but I doubt that laws which do not contradict or conflict with federal law, as the Arizona statute appears not to (Have you read it? Give it a read!), will ever make it that high.

George Will is in agreement with Gov. Brewer, and he’s mostly correct when he says:

What the Arizona law does is make a state crime out of something that already is a crime, a federal crime.

Back to Ruben:

If the federal government does take border enforcement seriously, critics might ask: Why are there still people trying to enter the United States illegally? Simple. We can dig a moat, deploy an army, build walls or call in an airstrike, but desperate people will always find a way to go around, under or over any impediment in their path to a better life.

Ever heard of Berlin? It had a wall at one point which was remarkably effective. Not a whole lot of people found ways to go around, under or over it. It was pretty damned effective. Bullets were involved.

This isn’t to condone illegal immigration. My views—in support of deportations, workplace raids, giving more resources to the Border Patrol etc.—are well known. I’m just telling you what Border Patrol agents tell me: that it doesn’t make any sense to focus all our attention at the border while turning a blind eye to employers in the interior. That’s like trying to fill a bucket with teaspoons of water without first plugging the hole at the bottom.

Well, at least we agree on one thing: illegal immigration is illegal. But what Ruben’s telling us is that if we make it unattractive for the illegals to find employment in Arizona that they’ll stop entering the US? They’ll just stay home because there’s nothing to do in the US? Oh, Ruben…

Sigh.

We give them damned near everything they could want already. They have tax-free jobs. They have racial profiling to hide behind if they get caught. They have free education if they need it. They can come back if they are deported. And if the Obama administration has its way, they can obtain legal immigrant status and pay taxes on their income if they just happen to get caught and want to avoid a trip back and forth. (Whoopee!) So those people who are hiring the illegal immigrants will continue to hire them as well as their documented counterparts which will just continue to take the jobs from Americans.

They won’t stay home. They’ll turn out in droves.

Now Obama has fallen into that same trap. He is reportedly ready to announce that he is sending 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to help control illegal immigration and quell some of the violence. That’s a far cry from the 6,000 troops that Arizona Sen. John McCain had requested, and congressional Republicans seem miffed that Obama stole their thunder.

It’s not a trap: 1,200 is a good start. Maybe Obama is listening for a change and not trying to drive his liberal agenda down the throats of Americans and through the hearts of their values.

Still, as long as the troops follow the protocol laid out in 2006 when George W. Bush launched Operation Jumpstart—that they’re unarmed and act only in a support capacity to the Border Patrol by fixing vehicles, monitoring surveillance equipment, repairing fences—I think sending the National Guard is a fine idea. It’s just not the magic bullet that the most enthusiastic proponents of the idea would have us believe. There’s only one of those. It involves fining, arresting and prosecuting the employers of illegal immigrants, including people who are, this election year, streaming into fundraisers for McCain, Brewer and other tough-talking Republicans vowing to solve a problem that many of their backers helped create.

National defense, as viewed from Ruben’s perspective, involves standing around and monitoring the bullets being shot at you, perhaps ducking. The Berlin wall would have been a lot less effective if the German guards had simply yelled, “Halten Sie!” No, Obama’s troops need to take an active role in stemming the tide of illegal immigration, a tide that leaves behind a trail of garbage that looks like this:

Mail Attachment-1.jpegMail Attachment-2.jpegMail Attachment-3.jpeg Mail Attachment-4.jpeg

There are about 5,000 backpacks alone in this one wash in the Sonoran Desert—that’s Arizona, people, which is being trashed as part of the superhighway which funnels immigrants north.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Ruben Navarrette Jr.

Thank God for that, though I’m afraid there are those who agree with him.

Now, let’s hear from the other side of this argument…

From GeeksAreSexy:

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(Never watched it, but I get the idea.)

I, too, miss Waiter Rant. But Movin’ Meat has filled that void. It’s not as crass as Waiter Rant. No, it’s a behind-the-scenes look at the life of an ER doc, so the cast of characters is significantly different. It has similar poignancy, emotion, and humanity, all while describing the tragic, the insane, the unusual, and broken toes.

Give it a try. Tell Dr. Y. that Bill sent cha’.

I don’t get it. “I misspoke.” “I made a mistake.” But no “I lied.” Or “I would have crushed a witness who perjured himself like I did if I had been on the stand.”

C’mon, Dick: Try it. I lied. Betcha’ can’t do it. And bet the media lets you get away with it, too.

Article here.

Article about how iPads are selling faster than Macs can be found here.

Also outselling Macs:

  • iPods.
  • iPhones.
  • Floppy disks (3.5”)+
  • Light bulbs.
  • Oil-absorbant towels.
  • Kleenex.

…and lots of other things which aren’t in the same product category as Macs.

(via DaringFireball.net)


+ No, really. Floppy disks! The Mac is doomed!

Oh, for Pete’s sake…

Article here

Dear ALa,

Not too long ago, you declared that you might have had it with the whole blogging thing. There’s not enough revenue. It takes too much time for too little public response. There’s always Glenn Beck.

“There’s always Glenn Beck?!” Are you crazy?

I’m pretty sure that until Glenn Beck marries someone in the armed forces (and sticks with that marriage through thick, thin, unemployment and deployment), lists his occupation as “educator,” moves from Connecticut (Hi, neighbor!) to Philly, drops some pounds and years, changes his gender, and gets a whole lot better looking, then his viewpoint will not be the same as yours.

“There’s always Glenn Beck.” Pshaw!

Anyway… I’m not writing to change your mind.

Because, other than that whole Glenn Beck thing, you’re right on the money. Blogging consistently takes time, and you certainly won’t find conservatives (big C or little C, doesn’t matter) voicing their opinions, either in the comments or in their own blogs. You see, the problem with most of us Conservatives is that, as I’ve said before, we’re too conservative. Worse yet, most of us are too lazy to Get up! Stand up!, as the song says.+ So to expect anybody to respond, even if they agree with you? It feels like standing in front of a class of students who really couldn’t care less about what you’re saying, trying your damnedest to get their attention, and still getting “Meh” from them. Been there. Done that.

You, however, are clearly not too conservative or lazy, content to rest on your rear and let the country go its own way. Instead, you have taken the time, made a huge effort, and stood up for what you believe is right, and Right, too. That makes you the exception, not the rule, and it’s something for you to be proud of.

Not that I’m writing to say, “Lemme’ tell you a thing or two, li’l missy.” Nope. I’m totally in agreement with you. You’ll notice on my blog that I don’t have ads, so my revenue is negative. And if you search for comments? You’ll notice that I may as well be talking to myself. I know how you feel to some extent.

So if you decided to quit tomorrow—or even today!—I could and would totally understand.

Please know this, however: I have appreciated reading what you write. I have appreciated the tidbits which you’ve thrown our way. I have genuinely thought our families would get along just fine, and yet I don’t know you or The Man at all. I have enjoyed the viewpoints of someone with whom I don’t agree 100% of the time, but agree with enough to know that with enough of us, the country could be headed in a better direction.

If only people knew we existed. If only others would voice their opinions, too. If only the loudmouth liberals weren’t the only ones publishing, voicing, arguing, and generally making a nuisance of themselves. If only…

ALa, I’m sure there are lots of people out there who are long-tail bloggers like I am. I post only about 4 times a week, I have 13 Google Reader subscribers (Hi, y’all!), and I see about 1,500 unique visitors to my website/blog per month. We probably wouldn’t be missed if we dropped out of the conversation. But you’re further into the main body of the tail, and I’m sure that your 176 Google Readers and 20,000 visitors (or more!) will miss you.

Or rejoice that you’re sticking around.

Either way, congratulations on making it this far, thank you for the last six years, and best of luck and blessings in your other endeavors,

Bill w alpha.png


+ Note to RNC and others who think this might be a good theme song for your campaigns: Read and understand the lyrics before you make that decision. It’s a shame. Catchy tune, great hook, but definitely not in line with your values.

I like these guys. It seem that what I’ve read so far is “Just the facts, ma’am.” Check them out for yourselves.

[via DaringFireball.net, if you can believe it]

And for the half of us who pay those taxes, averages are meaningless.

Article here.

Money quotes:

“The idea that taxes are high right now is pretty much nuts,” says Michael Ettlinger, head of economic policy at the liberal Center for American Progress.

Note the source. He ought to know what’s “nuts.”

And this beaut:

A Gallup Poll last month found that 48% thought taxes were “too high” and 45% thought they were “about right.” Those saying taxes are “too high” remain near a 50-year low.

Given that nearly half of Americans aren’t paying federal taxes at all, those numbers don’t seem so out of line, now, do they? And since the percentage of Americans paying taxes is also the lowest it’s been in 50 years, I’m guessing there’s no mystery as to why the number of those saying taxes are “too high” remains near a 50-year low.

With the non-tax-paying majority running the country, if you worked hard to get where you are and can see the fruits of your labors, it’s pretty likely that somebody else is going to pick and eat that fruit for you.

[via DaringFireball.net]

Am I the only one who sees it? No, I’m sure I’m not, because it’s as plain as day. What the hell is Adobe thinking?

They already have a captive audience in people who own and use their Creative Suite. All they have to do is make it the best damned HTML5 development tool there is and they’re in like Flynn. What if it could just pump out HTML5 instead of Flash with a checkbox? Same tool, same lock-in, same developer community familiar with their tools. And, oh-by-the-way, nobody said that making Flash-like things with HTML5 is easy, au contraire. So if they do it and do it right, they will gain those customers who refuse to use Flash but find developing in HTML5 to be hard.

They should shut up, quit whining about the death of Flash (whether it is dead or not) and move on to creating the first pro-quality HTML5 tool to market instead of an also-ran. And they’d be right back in the game.

Yeah, it costs money to do that. But… hear me out.

All of the browsers in the world now support or will support HTML5 and all the goodies therein—not just the desktop browsers, not just the mobile browsers. All of the browsers.

Some of the browsers in the world will not support Flash, and never will. Never. Never. Never. Period.

So, funny thing: if asked whether I would develop a creative tool which has as its potential audience all browsers or just some browsers, which do you think I’d put my time and money into?

Flash is dead, but long live Fl.


As a footnote, I tried to find out what the name, or names, of the Adobe Flash-generating products are called. After five minutes, I gave up. Too many SPODs, too much crap, not enough information. The Adobe website is a clear example of the technology’s getting in the way of the content.

(inspired by Daring Fireball Linked List: Jeff Croft on Adobe’s Android Flash Demo at FlashCamp Seattle.)

Article here.

I think Hillary has bigger balls than her husband, but I don’t think the administration has the guts to live up to her warning.

Or is this administration finally realizing that Hope and Change aren’t necessarily the best foreign policy?

After all, “hope and change” don’t work quite as well as “shock and awe” when it comes to killing your enemy.

Drill, baby, drill! indeed.

As it turns out, so the linked article says, the biggest disasters aren’t drilling platform-related, they’re shipping related. So, what would you rather have? Oil rigs which are close to home, requiring less transportation (or even having a direct connection to shore)? Or oil rigs in the middle-east monopoly states which require transportation of vast quantities of oil over significant distances?

Yeah, yeah, I know… but until you stop driving a car to work on a road made of asphalt and you stop using plastic and until you understand that we’re all dependent on the stuff, which would you rather have?

In record time: eight days. Article here.

I predict Apple will do one of two things: two WWDC’s per year, one for Mac OS and one for iPhone OS, or (more likely), one WWDC per year with alternating Mac OS and iPhone OS content. There will be some items in each for both platforms, but really, Apple has set itself up nicely for a major delivery per platform every two years.

Until Apple jumps into another market, or until there’s a major shift in the content/capabilities of either OS, I don’t think we’ll see the rapid pace of development that requires annual developer conferences as we have in the past.

Several kids in California got sent home because they were wearing shirts with the American flag on them on May 5th, 2010, Cinco de Mayo.

Seriously? It’s come to this? We have to be respectful of a holiday which is barely celebrated in Mexico?!

Here’s the money quote:

“He said ‘If you wear [the flag T-shirt] on any other day, it’s fine; but just because it’s today you can’t wear it,’” [Daniel] Galli said. “His exact words.”

Galli said he was told it was inappropriate to wear the shirt because “it’s supposed to be a Mexican Day and we were supposed to honor them.”

Here’s a link to the school’s official dress code.

Gang colors? Don’t wear them. Glove on one hand? Don’t do that. Showing cleavage? Don’t. American flag? Don’t wear them on May 5th or March 17th.

Oh, wait, that’s not in the school’s dress code. I just made it up, as did the idiot administrator(s) at Live Oak High…

[via Blonde Sagacity]

This is exactly the kind of double standard that our country seems to thrive on. On one of the MSM’s hands, it’s OK for Adobe to whine to the feds about Adobe’s perception of Apple’s practices. But on the other one of the MSM’s hands, it’s not OK for Apple to tell the DA and police that they’re going to press charges in a clear-cut case of stolen property.

Of course, everybody is entitled to his own opinions, and that’s mine.

I don’t know how I missed this one. Apparently, Obama thinks that he’s more experienced with nuclear policy than Sarah Palin. Her response is classic:

Palin shot back later at a speech to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, further mocking Obama’s earlier career and “all the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community organizer.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

There’s precious little on the Interwebs about sharing a fax modem using Mac OS X Server 10.6 (or 10.5 or 10.4…). Trust me, I’ve looked.

If you’re looking for the clues, here they are. I started out by monkeying around with /etc/cupsd.conf, got it to work, but ended up just doing this:

  1. I created the fax printer using the usual MacOS X Server System Preferences. I also set it up to answer and receive, and that works OK. I then tested the fax printer to make sure it works. (The modem is a MultiModem USB modem, FYI, so I have no Apple Stick-of-Gum Modem problems to deal with. It is rumored that the Apple Stick-of-Gum modem won’t work with a 64-bit server.)

  2. Use Safari to visit localhost:631/printers/. Selected “MultiModemUSB”.

  3. Selected “Maintenance” and “Modify Printer” from the drop downs. Entered my administrator username and password.

  4. After some Carousel spinning, clicked “Current Connection” and “Continue”.

  5. Checked “Share this printer” and “Continue”.

  6. Left all settings as-is and clicked “Modify Printer”.

  7. Clicked the “Administration” tab.

  8. Checked “Share printers connected to this system”.

  9. Clicked “Change Settings”.

After cupsd restarted, I was able to browse on 10.6 client machines to see the fax machine using the Default browser!

Could it really be that easy? Is this going to work? Will Superman be able to save Lois Lane in time?

Tune in next time…

Film at elevennow.

(via EpicWinFTW)